Haneda Airport Observation Decks
I recently wrote about my flight on HK Express from Haneda HND to Hong Kong HKG. Before my flight I was able to enjoy the observation deck above the departure level in the International Terminal. The best thing about the observatory decks is that they are completely FREE, and you don’t even need a plane ticket. Access is on the public side of security so you can just have a picnic and look at airplanes whenever you want.
Keep in mind that the domestic terminals 1 and 2 both have observation decks at Haneda as well, although I only got to experience the one in the International terminal.
The Terminal 1 rooftop observation deck may be reached from the sixth floor of the Market Place in Terminal 1. The Terminal 2 rooftop observation deck may be reached from the fifth floor of the Market Place. Both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 observation decks are open between 6:30 and 22:00.
* Observation decks may be closed in bad weather.
The observation deck in the International doesn’t appear to have operating hours. I went at around 12:20am and there was no indication it was closing soon. I was really impressed at how nice and large the deck is and there is both an indoor and outdoor area. In fact the outdoor area has a huge sitting area when you can eat and drink if you’re so inclined. I appreciated the openness and easy access, you certainly would not get that post 9/11 in the USA.
You won’t be seeing any stars since Tokyo has way too many buildings and lights, but you have a clear view of the runway at Haneda. You can see planes takeoff and land clearly which is kinda cool for a plane enthusiastic like myself. I noticed myself plane-spotting for a few minutes.
To get there from the departure area, you basically take the escalators in the middle up to the foot court level, then further up the observation level. There’s also one or two small kiddy play areas which were closed at the time I went. Signs are well placed and there’s even a bench seating area, where most people were already sleeping for the night when I went. This is a good quiet spot to get some Zzzzs in the airport if you don’t want to pay for accommodation. Or there’s always the First Cabin capsule hotel at Haneda’s domestic terminal.
Next time you’re flying out of Haneda, be sure to check out the observation decks. They’re really cool and a throwback to the old heyday of flying.